SPAIN & PORTUGAL LONGSTAYS – 32 NIGHTS
COSTA DEL SOL, ALGARVE & LISBON
A classic favourite! This complete hosted Mediterranean vacation combines the best of Spain and Portugal! Start with 14 nights in Spain’s Costa del Sol in a modern hotel located on stunning Carihuela Beach. Six cultural excursions are included with your stay. Spend 15 nights in Portugal in a deluxe resort in the Algarve.
Enjoy the expansive beaches, white-washed villages and stunning seascapes. End your stay with three nights in the fascinating city of Lisbon, and a day trip to Sintra a UNESCO World Heritage site.
* Round-trip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass†
• Airport transfers in country
• Costa Del Sol: 14 nights in a suite at the Hotel Sol House Aloha, Costa del Sol, with two meals daily and free WiFi
• Four full-day excursions with lunch including: Granada, Córdoba, Gilbraltar and Nerja
• Two half-day excursions to Málaga with dinner and Flamenco show and Mijas with dinner
• Algarve: 15 nights in a one-bedroom apartment at the Grand Real Santa Eulalia Apartments with two meals daily, free WiFi, free shuttle to Albufeira
• Two excursions including: Moorish Heritage with wine tasting and lunch and Loule Market
• Lisbon: three nights at the Hotel Mundial with breakfast, Lisbon walking tour with tapas plus a full-day Sintra tour with lunch,
• Local tourist taxes and gratuities
• Merit Travel tour host**
Spain: Costa del Sol - The Sol House Aloha Costa del Sol is situated right on the seafront promenade and near Puerto Marina close to restaurants, bars and markets within walking distance, with breakfast and dinner included daily. Fully renovated one-bedroom suites feature a double bed or 2 twin beds with a modern loft style design, a sofa bed and a furnished terrace. All rooms have been recently redecorated and include two flat-screen TVs, air conditioning, free WiFi, safe, and a full bathroom with rain shower or bathtub. Unwind by the gorgeous pool area with sunbeds overlooking the sea.
Portugal: Algarve - Grand Real Santa Eulalia Apartments: This luxurious hotel has a stunning location with lush gardens, spacious pool areas and is across from Santa Eulalia beach and just east of the lively resort area of Albufeira. One-bedroom apartment with twin beds in the bedroom, a sofa-bed in the living room, complete kitchenette including a small fridge, electric rings, microwave, coffee machine, and toaster, (no stove). Apartments are located either on the ground floor or with stairs up to the second floor with balcony or terrace. Satellite TV, radio, safe, mini bar, air conditioning, WiFi as well as bathroom with a hair dryer are additional features.
Relax in the outdoor heated pool or explore the local area with your tour host. Thalasso hydrotherapy circuit pool, sauna, Jacuzzi: There is a charge for the use of this service as it is managed by an external company. Special rates of €15 per person, per entry. Merit Travel guests will receive one free access per person to the Thalasso hydrotherapy circuit pool during your stay.
Portugal: Lisbon - The Hotel Mundial is set in Lisbon’s historic Baixa Pombalina district and features a terrace with stunning panoramic city and São Jorge Castle views. It is a two minute walk from Rossio Square. Renovated in March 2016, rooms at the Hotel Mundial have air -conditioning, traditional-style furnishings and are equipped with satellite TV, and a private bathroom with a bathrobe and hairdryer. The Varanda de Lisboa restaurant is highly regarded and offers stunning views over the city.
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Feb. 26, 2020 | DEPART TORONTO - MÁLAGA, SPAIN (via Montréal)
Board your overnight Air Transat flight 477 departs Toronto 6:00 p.m. arrives Montreal 7:15 p.m. Connects with Air Transat flight 254 departs Montreal 8:40 p.m. arrives Malaga 9:40 a.m. (following day).
Feb. 27, 2020 | MÁLAGA - COSTA DEL SOL (D)
Upon arrival in Málaga, meet your local representative and transfer to the Sol House Aloha Hotel in Costa del Sol. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening with your group. Accommodation: Sol House Aloha Hotel in Costa del Sol (14 nights)
Days 3 - 15
Feb. 28 - Mar. 11, 2020 | COSTA DEL SOL (B, D)
Enjoy the amenities at your resort, take a stroll on the beach, go shopping or just soak up the atmosphere. You have six cultural tours included in your vacation to really understand the local culture. Your tour host will be available for suggestions on local excursions. Breakfast and dinner is included daily at your resort!
Included half-day Excursion to Mijas (Feb 28, 2020) (D)
Meet at the hotel lobby for a 4 p.m. departure. This afternoon, you will visit Mijas situated on the edge of the mountains surrounded by pine trees and facing the Mediterranean Sea. Mijas is a village full of history and culture that still conserves the image of a traditional Andalusian village.
The key sights to see on foot include The shrine of the Virgen de la Peña, the Parish Church, the Bullring, the auditorium and the Carromato de Max”, a museum of miniatures. Mijas Burro Taxis, also known as donkeys, are available for non-walkers, for a more traditional taxi method through the narrow streets. After your tour you will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before returning back to your hotel.
Appropriate for travellers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring by transport and by foot and do not require mobility aids.
ACTIVITY LEVEL: SIGHT SEEING
Included full-day Excursion to Granada (Mar. 2, 2020) (L)
Meet at the hotel lobby for an 8:00 a.m. departure. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Alhambra on this fascinating tour. You’ll explore beyond the beautiful Moorish architecture to learn the history of one of the most visited attractions in the world. Your visit begins in the Alhambra, whose construction began in the 11th century. Visit the most important halls and courtyards of the Alhambra.
Your tour then continues to the Palace of Charles V and the Generalife Gardens. Found next to the Alhambra, these gardens were a place of leisure and recreation for the Moorish kings of Granada and from here you can enjoy wonderful views across the city. You’ll enjoy lunch at Restaurant H. Carmen and then have some free time to explore Granada on your own before returning back to your hotel.
Included full-day Excursion to Nerja & Frigiliana (Mar. 6, 2019) (L)
Meet at the hotel lobby for a 9:00 a.m. departure. In the Eastern Coast of Málaga Province, Frigiliana shines with mosaic paved streets and immaculate white houses. This beautiful village maintains a Morisco-Mudejar centre which has received numerous awards for its excellent state of conservation.
Taste the local sweet wine and enjoy free time for strolling around. A few kilometres from Frigiliana, you will find Nerja, a village that still retains much of the character of its Moorish past. The historic centre was constructed around 1487 of which the Balcon de Europa (Balcony of Europe) is part, which now provides a viewing area out to sea. To the side of the Balcon is the XVII Century El Salvador Church constructed in Barroque-Mudejar style.
You will also visit the magnificent prehistoric Caves known as the Underground Cathedral a unique example of natural architecture, with stalactites and stalagmites that were formed over millions of years. A delicious lunch will be served at Restaurant Servillano, before returning back to your hotel.
Included half-day Excursion to Málaga and Flamenco Show
(Mar.7, 2019) (D)
Meet at the hotel lobby for a 3:00 p.m. departure. This afternoon, you will tour the city of Málaga, described once by the Nobel Price winner Vicente Alexandre, as the City of Paradise. The Gibralfaro, an old Arab Fortress offers fantastic views over the city and the Mediterranean and the Cathedral is one of the best examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture. The interior, with its high and wide naves is noteworthy for its chapels, choir-stalls and paintings by Cano, Morales and Coello. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and then you will attend a live performance of a fabulous Flamenco Show at a local ‘Tablao’ before returning back to your hotel.
Included full-day Excursion to Gibraltar (Mar. 09, 2020) (L)
Meet at the hotel lobby for a 9:00 a.m. departure. On this tour visit Gilbraltar, a British Colony since 1713 is often described as the shopping centre of the Western Mediterranean. The key local attraction is St. Michael’s Cave, situated at a height of approximately 300 m above sea level, this is one of Europe’s most dramatic natural grottoes, a remarkable example of natural architecture.
The Ape’s Den is where we will find Barbary Macaques or Barbary Apes. Roaming freely along the upper rock, these endearing creatures will enchant you with their antics. We will stop for lunch at Restaurant le Square café and will have some free time to explore before returning back to your hotel.
Included full-day Excursion to Córdoba (Mar. 10, 2019) (L)
Meet at the hotel lobby for an 8:30 a.m. departure. On this tour you will visit one of the most emblematic buildings of Islamic Art, the 16th century Aljama Mosque, displaying Gothic, Baroque and Plateresque elements. The panoramic tour shows the Roman Bridge displaying the restoration work performed by the Muslims. The “Juderia” (Jewish Quarter), with its Synagogue, situated near “La Aljama” district.
After lunch at restaurant Bandolero, you will have free time for shopping the local handicrafts, before returning back to your hotel.
Mar. 12, 2020 | DEPART COSTA DEL SOL, SPAIN FOR THE ALGARVE, PORTUGAL (B, D)
Please check out and bring your luggage to the lobby by 8:00 a.m. Today you will depart after breakfast and transfer to the Algarve via private motor coach. Enjoy the scenic route to Portugal (approximately a five-hour drive) and arrive in the Algarve in the early afternoon. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner with your group at 7:00 p.m.
Accommodation: Grand Real Santa Eulalia Apartments (15 nights)
COSTA DEL SOL, ALGARVE & LISBON – HOSTED
Days 17 - 30
Mar. 13 - 26, 2020 | ALBUFEIRA, ALGARVE (B, D)
You have included in your vacation two cultural excursions. Your Merit Travel tour host will be available for suggestions on local excursions. Breakfast and dinner is included daily at your resort.
Included half-day Excursion to Loule Market (Mar. 14, 2020)
Meet in the lobby for a 9:30 a.m. departure by coach to Loule, an attractive town in the countryside for a guided tour and to visit the weekly Market that attracts tourists from all over the region. The town’s landmark is the Market Building where the local farmers sell fresh products such as fish, fruits and vegetables. Enjoy some time to walk in the narrow streets of Loule and visit the medieval castle and the city wall.
Included full-day Excursion to Moorish Heritage Excursion with Wine Tasting (Mar. 17, 2020) (L)
Meet in the lobby for a 9 a.m. departure by coach towards the town of Silves, a charming town situated on the banks of the Arade River, which was once the capital of the Algarve. Arriving in Silves, we will have a guided visit through the old town to learn more about the history of this area.
The Castle of Silves is the best-preserved castle in the Algarve. It was built on the site of late Roman and Visigoth fortifications from the 4th and 5th centuries. The Cathedral is considered the most important gothic monument in the Algarve. Another impressive sight is the Cruz de Portugal (the Cross of Portugal), it is a limestone cross dating from the 15th or 16th century. After visiting Silves we continue to one of the local wineries where several medals have been awarded, certifying the growing quality of the wines.
Mar.27, 2020 | DEPART ALGARVE - LISBON (B)
Please check out and be ready in the lobby for 9:00 a.m. You will depart from your hotel in the morning by coach for Lisbon (approximately a three-hour drive).
The remainder of the afternoon is free at leisure to explore Lisbon on your own.
Accommodation: Hotel Mundial (three nights)
Mar. 28, 2020 | LISBON (B)
After breakfast enjoy your morning at leisure. This afternoon enjoy a Lisbon walking tour to explore the hidden gems of this fascinating city. Discover Lisbon’s old city centre followed by a wine tasting. You will have the opportunity to taste some of the most traditional Portuguese Tapas (petiscos) and also some Portuguese iconic wines including the famous Port wine!
Mar.29, 2020 | FULL-DAY SINTRA AND CASCAIS EXCURSION (B,L,D)
After breakfast, depart from your hotel at 9 a.m. by coach to see the city’s highlights. During your tour enjoy an informative commentary and a relaxing drive through the town, stopping to take photographs at famous landmarks and places of interest such as the Monument to the Discoveries, Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery. Continue to the charming town of Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can admire many stunning buildings and works of art. Upon arrival you will visit Sintra National Palace, also known as Palácio da Vila, famous for its magnificent painted ceilings. After your visit to the palace enjoy some free time to explore the town. From Sintra continue to Cabo da Roca, the most western point of Europe, where you will have time to photograph the stunning views. Your tour ends with a visit to Cascais, a popular resort with a wonderful bay lined by elegant houses, before returning to your hotel. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner at 7:30 p.m. with your group at Varanda de Lisboa restaurant including wine.
Mar. 30, 2020 | DEPART LISBON - TORONTO (B)
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight home. Air Transat flight 733 departs Lisbon 12:15 p.m. arrives Toronto 3:45 p.m.
*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Single supplement: $1,995. †Plaza Premium airport lounge pass applicable at Toronto airport. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please inquire. **Minimum 15 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host.
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